The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Put That on Your Plate! Season 1, Ep 7
With Susie's help, Midge hones her act at the Gaslight. Abe surprises the women with a dinner guest, sending Rose into an emotional spiral. Working towards a promotion, Joel conjures up a new plan. Midge stirs up controversy after meeting a big-time comedian.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Mrs. X at the Gaslight Season 1, Ep 6
Midge finds a different kind of audience to perform for, much to Susie's chagrin. Abe gets offered the experience of a lifetime. The Weissmans come together for a family dinner. Susie finally shows off her management skills.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Doink Season 1, Ep 5
Midge dives into a new line of work and makes some quirky friends along the way. Susie continues her emphatic quest to keep Midge's career moving forward, but gets hit with a couple setbacks. Both Midge and Joel experience the downsides of their new lifestyles.
Midge begins to move on from her once perfect life. Susie shows Midge the ropes while going on a tour of New York comedy clubs. Rose takes a bit too much pleasure in Midge's new living arrangements
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Because You Left Season 1, Ep 3
After another arrest, Midge finds herself in legal trouble, forcing her to rely on Susie's street smarts. Abe approaches Moishe with an interesting proposition. Lenny Bruce offers some unconventional inspiration for Midge's act.<
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme Season 1, Ep 2
Midge's life is in a tailspin in the wake of Joel leaving. Midge and Joel's parents butt heads while trying to keep their family together. Susie pushes Midge to get back on stage and find her voice.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Pilot Season 1, Ep 1
Midge Maisel has the perfect life. She is supportive of her husband's dream of becoming a stand up comic until he bombs on stage and blames her, leading Midge back to the comedy club and an act that might change her life. [more inside]
Detectorists: Series 3 Episode 4 Season 3, Ep 4
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Return to Skyfire Season 5, Ep 8
Official FOX synopsis: "When Terry’s favorite author, DC Parlov (guest star Fred Melamed), returns to the precinct because his latest manuscript was stolen, Terry and Jake convince Rosa to go undercover with them at a fantasy fiction convention to find the culprit. As drama ensues between Parlov and another writer (guest star Rob Huebel), Terry admits that he’s been writing a book of his own. Back at the precinct, Holt, Amy and Charles take a forensics course, but Charles’ big mouth gets him in trouble."
Detectorists: Series 3 Episode 3 Season 3, Ep 3
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Two Turkeys Season 5, Ep 7
Official FOX synopsis: "Jake and Amy attempt to get their parents to bond over Thanksgiving dinner, but their first holiday together as a family does not go well. Meanwhile, at the precinct, Holt and Kevin’s special Thanksgiving pie is stolen from his office and Holt searches through the ranks for the possible culprit."
Future Man: (Full season) Season 1, Ep 0
Josh Futturman is a lowly janitor at a pharma company who is obsessed with Bionic Wars, a game so hard nobody has come close to finish it. Until he does. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Venue Season 5, Ep 6
Official FOX synopsis: "The always unwelcome Vulture (guest star Dean Winters) pops back into Jake and Amy’s lives, threatening to swoop in and take something important away from them. Meanwhile, Boyle and Rosa must track down 'Sergeant Peanut Butter,' the kidnapped NYPD horse that Charles envies, and Holt challenges Terry to be less image-conscious."
Detectorists: Series 3 Episode 2 Season 3, Ep 2
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Bad Beat Season 5, Ep 5
Official FOX synopsis: To track down the infamous arms dealer Dan “Daniel” Valdano (guest star David Figlioli), Jake and Terry go undercover at an illegal gambling club, but when Holt gets involved to coach the two in the art of poker, his addiction resurfaces. Meanwhile, Boyle buys a food truck that was formerly used in a brutal string of murders without telling his investor, Amy, and Hitchcock and Scully challenge Rosa to a “Butt-lympics”.
Detectorists: Season 3 Episode 1 Season 3, Ep 1
Comedy series about two metal-detecting friends. Lance's flat isn't his own, Andy's stuck with the mother-in-law. The dark cloud of a solar farm threatens the tranquillity. [more inside]
Grace tries working for an obnoxious hotel mogul; Will is surprised at his reaction to making senior partner; Jack owns half of a winning lottery ticket.
Sarah Silverman has a new weekly talkshow on Hulu. It's pretty interesting. So far, the first two episodes both included segments where Sarah hangs out with a Trump-supporting family in the South. Those are kind of fascinating, and against all odds, it appeared that common ground was found. Obviously not on everything, but enough to make you hopeful. The third episode—just aired—is a lot more scripted. Except the Tig Nataro segment where Tig tries to learn how to chant like an auctioneer. Comedy gold. The rest gets kind of Fernwood Tonight, and by that I mean brilliant. [more inside]
An ordinary high school student discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf. [more inside]
Some jokes about Trump. A little crowd work. And then jokes related to his heartbreaking loss. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Kicks Season 5, Ep 3
Official FOX synopsis: "Now that he’s officially back at the precinct and desperate to solve a real case, Jake finds a loophole to get out of his temporarily designated desk duty. Unfortunately, that loophole rests on his ability to pass an official evaluation performed by Holt. While Charles provides Jake with moral support, Terry and Amy help Rosa, who believes Pimento may be cheating on her."
Will & Grace: Who's Your Daddy? Season 9, Ep 2
Will and Jack try to date younger guys but find it challenging; Grace and Karen experience a crisis that reveals Grace's true feelings about Karen.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Big House, Pt. 2 Season 5, Ep 2
Official FOX synopsis: "When the warden (guest star Toby Huss) asks Jake to investigate Romero’s (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips) drug smuggling operation, Jake and Caleb (guest star Tim Meadows) find themselves caught between the loyalty Jake has sworn to both of them. Meanwhile, Amy is offered a deal by a local mobster who claims he can prove that Hawkins (guest star Gina Gershon) is guilty, but Holt and the rest of the gang think they have a safer plan."
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Forensic Science Season 4, Ep 25
- Puerto Rico, where three million American citizens continue to deal with the destruction from Hurricane Maria, while President Trump and his administration both aggrandizes their efforts to help while demeaning them for needing help. The debacle comes at the end of a weak of failures by Trump and team. Trump also claims the Republicans' most recent attempt to ruin health care failed because a senator "was in the hospital." (No one was in the hospital.)
- Trump's efforts to pass tax reform, or as he himself calls it a massive tax cut, which the Tax Policy Center has determined would actually raise middle class taxes and accrue most of the benefits to the top 1% of taxpayers. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismisses those concerns, predictably.
- And Now: Guy Fieri Gives A Surprisingly Detailed Tour of His Favorite Place on Earth ("Flavortown.")
- Main story: the use of forensic evidence in the solving of crimes. While jurors are conditioned by shows like CSI to expect conclusive proof to come from forensic evidence, the National Research Council has stated that many "forensic sciences" don't meet the basic requirements to be called "science." Last Week Tonight produced a short promo for the show "CSI: Crime Scene Idiot." YouTube (19m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Corporate Consolidation Season 4, Ep 24
- Donald Trump criticizes NFL players for taking the knee during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of black people by police in the US, because there is no issue of which he won't take the wrong side.
- A couple of Trump administration officials came under fire for their use of costly private jet flights. Tom Price reportedly made 24 such flights at a combined cost to US taxpayers of $400,000. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, worth $300 million, made a request (later withdrawn) to use a government jet, along the way being snide to the entire state of Kentucky.
- And Now: A Preview of Megyn Kelly's New Morning Show. (Quote from Megyn Kelly saying she hopes her show can be a "unifying force.")
- And Now: A Look At The "Unifying Force" That Is Megyn Kelly. (A quick selection of clips of her time at Fox News being anything but.)
- Main Story: Corporate consolidation. As we're reminded by clips from 34 politicians, "small businesses are the backbone of our economy." Despite rhetoric, the rate at which small businesses have been created has been falling since the 1970s, perhaps because large businesses have been getting larger and larger. YouTube (15m)
- And Now: All of Jim Cramer's Sound Buttons, Replaced With Fart Noises
- Finally, part two of the tale of the unreasonably large train set Last Week Tonight made for Scranton, PA channel WNEP's backyard train set. The station refused LWT's gift because it was just too dang big. (They had suspected it might be, but figured it'd just be more fun to build the thing anyway.) The train didn't go to waste however; it now lives in the Lackawanna County Electric City Trolley Station & Museum.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Joe Arpiao Season 4, Ep 23
Whew, what with hurricanes and stuff it's been a while! This episode is now a month old! Let's take a step back in time, to an age when we were, due to the aging effects of the Trump presidency, all several years younger:
- Trump's busy week. First he met with Congressional leaders to hammer out a deal to raise the "debt ceiling." (Suprisingly, Trump sided with the Democrats, giving them additional leverage in December when the time comes to make the deal again, and infuriating Republicans.) Then Trump gave the floor to his daughter Ivanka, annoying the further hell out of the Republicans (fortunately, they have an ample supply of hell to spare). No one seems to know why Trump did either of those things.
- Trump announces that he's ending Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), putting the fate of 800,000 undocumented immigrants in immediate jeopardy, then immediately spins and says Congress should really get off their butts and do something about this tragic circumstance he created. Trump on why he did it: "Either we have a country, or we don't have a country."
- And Now: A Look At What the NFL Will, And Will Not, Tolerate (This relates to players taking the knee during the National Anthem. This was before Trump directly attacked players who did so, provoking a considerable backlash, with many more players joining the protest.)
- Main story: the (then) recently pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his many horrible acts, his downfall, and why Trumps pardoning of him was an awful thing to do. YouTube (14m) Warning: segment includes footage of Arpaio painfully droning "My Way.")
- And Now: Joe Arpaio Singing Another Song With No Sense of Irony Whatsoever (the theme from Fame, aka "I'm Gonna Live Forever")
- Finally, Scranton, PA station WNEP mentioned Last Week Tonight's mentioning of them on the air for the strangely controversial backyard train set they run on-camera during the weather report. Prompted by this, LWT went and build a ridiculously large train set for them, to have. More on that in the next episode....
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Big House, Pt. 1 Season 5, Ep 1
Official FOX synopsis: "Jake and Rosa assimilate to their new lives behind bars, but both are coping in very different ways. Jake bonds with his cellmate, Caleb (guest star Tim Meadows), and is forced to join a prison gang led by notorious inmate Romero (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips), in order to gain his protection. Meanwhile, in the women’s prison, Rosa puts Holt and Terry to the test by having them complete outrageous favors for her. Back in the precinct, Amy and Charles are doing all they can to exonerate their colleagues." [more inside]
Nathan for You: A Celebration Season 4, Ep 1
Before the season premiere on September 28, Nathan revisits some of the people he's helped so far, including the ghost realtor and hero Corey Calderwood.
The world's top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time. [more inside]
If Big Bang Theory were about pot, but with Kathy Bates, fake ads, animation, and PTSD. [more inside]
Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: North Korea Season 4, Ep 21
- Violence in Charlottesville, where a Neo-Nazi drove a car into a group of counter protesters, killing one and injuring several others, after which Donald Trump refuses to admit that Nazis are bad. Oliver: "David Duke and the Nazis really seem to like Donald Trump, which is weird because Nazis are a lot like cats. If they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them."
- AND NOW: HIGHLIGHTS FROM ROBOCUP 2017, first without, and then vastly improved by Univision Deportes Commentator Luis Omar Tapia.
- Main Story: North Korea, the most dangerous rogue nation in the world, and its leader Kim Jong Un, whom Donald Trump seems to be personally insulted by, resulting in a dangerous exchange a couple of weeks ago between the two thin-skinned madmen. Last Week Tonight put together a helpful package of information on the country, revealing such facts that the accordion is the country's national instrument, and that video of US television programming, most notably NCIS, is smuggled into North Korea on USB drives. At the end LWT presents a special number by "Weird Al" Yankovich asking North Korea not to nuke us. YouTube (27m) - Metafilter
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Border Patrol Season 4, Ep 20
So, that week that just happened. What about it?
- Another Trump dump. Now he's complained about the White House, insulted the state of New Hampshire, and his new Communications Director is an incredible asshole.
- And Now: You Wish You Loved Anything As Much As Seattle Gardning Expert Ciscoe Morris Loves Everything.
- Main story: The Border Patrol. They aren't from Immigration, and they're not customs officers. In fact, their function isn't to keep everyone out; one of their roles is to welcome migrants seeking asylum from Central America. An executive order from Trump directs the hiring of 5,000 more border agents, but it turns out it's not the first such hiring surge we've done, and the last one didn't go well. YouTube (20m). It's a tough and incredibly boring job, while their commercials make it seem exciting; LWT produced a new commercial for them to give viewers a more accurate impression of the position.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Alex Jones Season 4, Ep 19
Okay, so there were these seven days, and during them, this happened:
- President Trump announces--via Twitter--a blanket ban on transgender individuals serving in the US military. Oliver: "We may already be entering the Mad Libs portion of Trump's presidency, where he just persecutes groups at random."
- The Republicans' efforts to repeal the ACA, aka Obamacare, failed on every level, as Senator John McCain, the deciding vote, voted NO in dramatic fashion.
- Scaramucci's ascent to White House Press Secretary, an auspicious reign that will certainly last forever.
- And Now: More Newscasters Desperately Trying Not To Say The Words "Suck My Own Cock"
- Main story: Alex Jones, favorite talk host of Donald Trump and the "Walter Cronkite of shrieking batshit gorilla clowns," his show, and the vast array of merchandise, sold on his web storefront, that keeps it afloat, much of it medical supplements and other supplies ("nutri-ceuticals") of dubious benefit. Warning: contains images of the "perineal area." (shudder) YouTube (22m)
The Gong Show: Season 1 (2017) Season 1, Ep 0
Hello you cheeky monkeys! Tell us how much you love (or hate) the newest version of this classic show! [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sinclair Broadcast Group Season 4, Ep 18
- Trump's travel ban is partially-reinstated by the Supreme Court in anticipation of its upcoming full review to not affect refugees with a "credible claim of a bona-fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," which Trump's State Department took the opportunity to define narrowly to immediate and a select few extended family members, not including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or brothers or sisters-in-law. YouTube (5m partial)
- And Now: CBS 2 Meteorologist John Elliott Engages in a Bit Too Much Self-Deprecation
- Main Story: The dangers posed by Sinclair ownership of television stations filling local news reports with Fox News-style propaganda, including "must run" conservative pieces. LWT produced a short piece that Tribune stations that might be acquired by Sinclair could air to warn viewers about upcoming biased content that may appear there. YouTube (19m)
- News that Rachel Maddow bought a wax figure of President Eisenhower from the closed Hall of Presidents and First Ladies in Gettysburg, Steven Colbert bought Zachary Taylor, Jon Steward bought Martin Van Buren, and LWT bought five President statues: Nixon, Clinton, Carter, Harrison and Warren G. Harding, that last one of which became the main character of a movie trailer LWT made, with Campbell Scott, Anna Kendrick, Michael McKean, James Cromwell and Laura Linney. YouTube (9m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Vaccines Season 4, Ep 17
- Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray, as promised, decided to sue Last Week Tonight for their coverage of them. DJWheezy managed to find a PDF of the actual complaint on The Daily Beast's website! (So you don't have to mess around with their annoying web interface.) Give that a read, if only for the mental image of Bob Murray claiming he's clinging to life and needs an oxygen tank to breathe.
- In explaining that he actually has no tapes of his conversation with James Comey, President Trump embarks on a nonsensical digression about Obama and surveillance, leaving Oliver to ask "What the fuck was that?" And it wasn't even the end of the clip....
- The Senate moves forward, but not yet to a vote, on their own version of ACA replacement, the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," which would drastically cut Medicaid.
- And Now: The Ongoing Controversy Over WNEP 16 Scranton's Backyard Train, and later, Seriously: The People of Scranton Are Very Invested in WNEP 16's Backyard Train.
- Main story: Vaccines, an amazing discovery that has reshaped the modern world for the better, and vaccine skeptcism, which seeks to destroy it. YouTube (27m)
Ever since his bit about the drug cocktail called "cheese" was featured on This American Life in 2010, I've been intrigued by Kumail Nanjiani. I've seen him pop up with wonderful small parts in Portlandia and Garfunkel and Oates, but now he's made an autobiographical movie (written together with his wife Emily V. Gordon) about struggling against cultural differences and parental expectations while discovering love and pursuing the dream of comedy. It is both deeply touching and hilarious as the cheese bit ever was.
It's not new, but inspired by his role on the much beloved Garfunkel and Oates series, I checked out this special. I laughed…a lot. In fact, I'm a bit concerned about some of the things I laughed at and I'm curious to discuss it and others' reactions. [more inside]
Comic Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show" shares personal stories about racism, immigrant parents, prom night horrors and more in this stand-up special.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Coal Industry Season 4, Ep 16
So recently you may have heard these things happening....
- The mistrial in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case, the result of which prompted Cosby to exclaim Fat Albert's catchphrase "Hey hey hey!" while exiting the courtroom, further soiling all of our memories.
- The incredibly unpopular AHCA Take Two, accompanied by a fitting graphic of the GOP logo with a blue skull superimposed with stars for eyes. Of the version passed by the House, Trump (who held a presentation where he celebrated its passing) was quoted as saying it was "mean," the irony entirely lost on him. Its very existence is causing problems in insurance markets, as companies decide if they want to pull out of the current markets or not.
- And Now: Things People's Fathers Used To Say
- Main Story: Coal, coal mining jobs, coal executives, coal mining companies, executives of coal companies, and Donald Trump's fixation on the mineral, discussed divorced of its (tremendous) ecological toll. Eventually the story comes around to involving a giant squirrel.... YouTube (24m)
- A new installment of Stupid Watergate. James Comey tells Congress under oath that he had no doubt he was fired because of the Russia investigation, which everyone knew anyway but still sent shockwaves, and that wasn't the end of it.
- And Now: There Is No Group Of People More Easily Amazed Than The Audience Of "America's Got Talent."
- Main story: The continuing negotiations of the UK over Brexit, and the harm done to them by Prime Minister Theresa May's ill-considered snap election which lost her a lot of seats. YouTube (19m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Paris Climate Agreement Season 4, Ep 14
- Terrorist attacks in London killed 7 and injured more. The American news media is full of stories of London "reeling" and "under siege." Londoners take issue with that description, continue drinking beer and carrying on.
- Vladimir Putin is in many places, from clips to an Oliver Stone series of interview on him to interviewing former Fox host Megyn Kelly, where he admited Russian citizens may have interfered with the US election, while Trump's administraion looks into returning Russian compounds on US soil known to have been used for spying.
- And Now: 60 Minutes Anchors Are Still Prompting People To Give Them The Exact Soundbites They Need.
- Main story: Trump announces that he is pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement, a decision with possibly disasterous consequences. YouTube (21m)
- And Now: Still More 60 Minutes Anchors Prompting People To Give Them The Exact Soundbites They Need.
A filmed version of Chris Gethard's one man comedy show about suicide, depression, alcoholism, and all the other funniest parts of life. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Moo Moo Season 4, Ep 16
Terry wants to file a complaint after he's stopped by a fellow police officer while off-duty in his own neighborhood; Jake and Amy get a glimpse into the difficulties of parenthood when they take care of Terry's kids. [more inside]
So, what's up in the world?
- "We begin with A Narcissistic, Unstable Man Who Just Might Kill Us All." In this case, that means Trump and Kim Jong-un, between whom tensions have been racheting up lately. Trump "sends" and "armada" to deter North Korea, although it turns out the weren't heading right there, but instead going to Austrailia.
- Turkey President Recep Erdoğan consolidates power with a referrendum that takes him closer to being a dictator.
- And Now: Cable News. (It's a lot of arguing and people talking over each over, sometimes up to 10 at once.)
- Main story: Trump's advisors and relatives Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, popularly regarded as moderating influences. LWT takes a closer look and notes that we we really know little about them, and what we do know suggests Ivanka is more about preserving the Trump brand, and Jared is an underachiever, extremely inexperienced, and is ludicrously in over his head. YouTube (22m)
- And Finally: Bill O'Reilly: A Life In Television.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Last Ride Season 4, Ep 5
It comes down to either the Nine-Nine or the 74th Precinct being shut down, and the 74th has a special tactical squad. Terry learns he needs to work one more case to catch Hitchcock, who has closed the most cases in the history of the 99th. Gina continually pranks the detectives while live-streaming in front of her audience of "G-noes". Amy convinces Holt to speed through five years of mentorship before the Nine-Nine closes. Jake and Charles set out on their last case together - a kid's stolen bike. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Serve & Protect Season 4, Ep 14
The audit continues at the Nine-Nine, this time under the supervision of Terry's grudge-holding ex-girlfriend. Can Amy and Gina crack the case of the botched breakup? Meanwhile, Jake and Rosa track down a stolen laptop on the set of a detective procedural, with the help(?) of special guest star Nathan Fillion. Elsewhere, Holt and Charles weigh using blackmail to save the precinct from closure.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Audit Season 4, Ep 13
B99 is still alive, and so is Gina! (For certain values of the word "alive".) Facing budget cuts due to falling crime rates, the Nine-Nine is undergoing an audit, courtesy of Amy's ex, Teddy. (You know, the pilsner guy.) Can Jake and Amy survive a jazz brunch? Meanwhile, Terry matches wits with an ornery Japanese copy machine, and Charles uses unconventional tactics to combat the precinct's rodent problem. [more inside]
Meanwhile, back on Earth....
- Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer digs an incredible hole for himself, first appearing to claim that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was worse than Hitler because Hitler never used chemical weapons (he did), then that Hitler never used them against innocent people (he did), then making up the term "Holocaust centers" as the place where Jews were gassed.
- Trump meets with China president Xi Jinping, who apparently in 10 minutes convinced him to do what over half the United States desperately wanted him to do for months: learn a damn thing about North Korea. Alas they did so at Trump's Mar-a-Lago, having recently been cited for 13 health code violations. Trump continues to flip-flop on practically everything related to foreign policy, underscoring how desperately stupid his campaign was.
- Trump drops a "MOAB" (Mother Of All Bombs) on Afghanistan, causing euphoric celebration at Fox News from Geraldo Rivera. When directly asked if he had authorized the strike, Trump danced around the question.
- And Now: You Put Easter And Local News Together, And What Do You Fucking Expect?
- Main Story: The upcoming French Presidental elections, between 11 different candidates, at least three of which have been assaulted in public by citizens throwing baking ingredients. YouTube (18m)